Sunday, May 20, 2007

Hoi An Fashion Show!

One of the downsides of being in a Communist country is that they don't appear to be big fans of blogs. Before leaving on the trip, we'd both heard of the "Great Firewall of China" and how China (in addition to being one of the fastest growing internet markets) has some of the strictest laws involving what its citizens can and can't see online.

Since arriving in Vietnam, we've also heard rumors that most blogs are blocked here. This appears to be somewhat true, in that generally Sarah and I can create and edit blog entries... but are unable to view our own blog (and our friends blogs) most of the time.

Still, we are presuming that everyone State-side and elsewhere can still read what we are typing, so we'll continue to do the digital equivalent of an East German jumping the Berlin Wall to bring you important blog entries... a Fashion Show of Clothes We Bought in Hoi An!

As some of you probably know, Southeast Asia is somewhat of a Mecca for cheap tailoring. And, if Southeast Asia is Mecca, then Hoi An is the Masjid al-Haram for cheap tailoring. While Hoi An could safetly be described as a "sleepy little village." It is also a sleepy little village with over 200 tailoring shops. When in Hoi An, its virtually impossible not to get something tailor made.

So, in the spirit of "When in Rome," lets take a look at what Sarah and I got made!

First up, here's a couple of quick pictures of where we got our clothes made. The store front was open to the street, on two side. But, here's the other two walls:

For the most part, we were happy with the experience, though we ended up feeling like they rushed us a bit in the end. But, we'll let you decide what you think about the final results. I'll alternate between pictures of me and Sarah, but there are more pictures of me because I got more clothes made (I'm metrosexual like that).

First up, here I am with the jacket I had made (I'm also wearing my "I'm a Commie" hat that I bought at a souvenir stand). Even though this was a bit of a spur of the moment decision, its also probably the item that I'm the happiest with. I actually wanted to take it with me on the rest of the trip, but everywhere else we are going is going to be hot so its getting shipped home with everything else. Also, notice the "motorcycle collar" inspired by our recent adventures.

This cute little white dress is probably the most "Summery" thing Sarah had made. Unfortunately, the photo is a little washed out, so the dress looks pure white. In actuality, its the second to bottom fabric in this picture:

Here I am in one of the two pairs of shorts that I had made. These were actually inspired bysome shorts I saw another tourist wearing in the Mekong. This is the one article of clothing I am keeping with me on the trip.

And here is Sarah wearing a dress in the same grey fabric as my shorts. We figured it wasn't too cutesy-wootsy to get things made in the same fabric, since we'll most likely not ever be wearing them at the same time.

Here I am in the white (well, off-white) linen suit, and blue shirt, I had made. Going into this experience the one item of clothes I knew I wanted was a white linen suit. Don't ask why... its just always been a dream. I'm pretty pleased!

Here's Sarah in a blue/green jacket. I think this turned out really funky-cute. And the fabric is pretty nifty too.

I hadn't planned on getting any other suits, but they were cheap and I've never owned abrown three-piece before, so why not?

And here's a classic, black jersey wrap dress for Sarah.

Here I am wearing a white striped dress shirt. It's about halfway between "formal" and "I'm going clubbin'" (because I'm such a club kid these days). I'm also wearing a pair of brown corduroy pants.

And here's Sarah wearing a jacket that we both thought turned out really nice. You can't see it in the picture, but its got a nice, pale-blue lining. It'll be a great fall jacket for when we return to the States... Unfortunately, its entirely too warm for her to be wearing in Vietnam. Which is why her smile has the look that "OK, I need out of this jacket now" look to it.

From here on out its just pictures of me.

These pants I've been calling my "hippy pants." They're tan linen pants with a draw-string. Actually, in comparison to some of the really hippy pants I saw getting made in the same tailor shop (think blue with yellow and pink pockets), these are pretty conservative. But, they are also mucho comfy. I'm also wearing a white linen shirt that I picked up in Saigon.

And, in this final picture, I'm wearing my second white dress shirt, which is a bit more casual than the first. And, I'm also wearing my second pair of shorts, which are similar in style to the first, but are brown pin-stripe.

Well, that's it folks, hope you enjoyed the show! I'll be interested to hear what some people think, like my friend who has a fashion and craft blog and my mom who is the most talented person I know when it comes to sewing in all its forms.

OK, enough with the fashion, I'm off to get some pho and a beer.


ambika said...

I could cry I'm so envious. I'll be drafting a pattern and sewing a woven tank for myself this week and it'll be my first article of clothing (everything else has been alterations & embellishment up to now). To see such detailed, lovely things (looking at you, Sarah--and great choices on the fabric) done so quickly and (given that we're just seeing the results) effortlessly, makes me want to smack Ben for his lack of desire in seeing Southeast Asia. Sigh.

Ali said...

OOOOhhh, love the clothes!! Y'all are supah fly. They turned out so much better than mine! ;p You guys did a great job picking out styles and fabrics. Can't wait to see you in Hanoi!

eddybles said...

Ooooohhh!!! So gorgeous!! What a fun post. Sarah, I think you'll have to lend me that jacket the next time we have a night out in Seattle. It's incredible! Looking forward to a fashion show!

Emily said...

I will now fantasize about going to Vietnam to design and produce great fashion dreams. All those bolts of fabric - the possibilities are endless. I don't know how you were able to narrow down your choices. Great show, I love your linen suit Tyler, I am truly happy for you. Sarah I love your picks. I think my favorites were the asymmetrical jacket, the grey dress, and the cap sleeved blue/green wrap jacket...

Mark said...

I swear that looks like the same shop we hit 7 years ago ('Lovely Fashion')?!?!
Best dressed couple on tour.

LallaLydia said...

Dashing suits! I think a nice hat would compliment them nicely...